Keeping on top of the latest legal changes when it comes to landlord and tenant law is crucial – so here’s our guide to some important dates for your diary.
20 March 2020 – human habitation laws extended
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 is extended to new and renewed periodic and secure tenancies from this date. It already covers all tenancies less than seven years in length in both the private and social rented sectors.
This legislation, aimed at improving living conditions for tenants, means all landlords (or agents acting on their behalf) must ensure properties are up to scratch when it comes to factors including freedom from damp, repair, stability and ventilation.
If the property is deemed unfit for human habitation, tenants will have a right under the new act – which amends the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 – to take landlords to court.
1 April 2020 – EPC rules extended
From 1 April, all residential properties let on existing assured shorthold or fully assured tenancies, regulated tenancies or domestic agricultural tenancies must have a minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) rating of E or above.
Landlords with properties with a lower F or G EPC rating must improve the property rating to E by 1 April to register an exemption and in some cases, will be required to spend up to £3,500 on energy efficient improvements to do so.
1 June 2020- all existing tenancies come under The Tenant Fees Act
From this date, all fees will be banned, no matter when the tenancy agreement was signed, unless they are ‘permitted’ fees.
The cap on tenancy deposits will also apply at this point, except for those in a Statutory Periodic Tenancy originally signed before 1 June 2019.
The Tenant Fees Act 2019, which was written to stop landlords and agents charging tenants unreasonable fees, and not refunding fees in some cases, means:
For specialist legal help and advice on this area of the law, and landlord and tenant disputes, please contact Wards Solicitors’ James Murray.
May 2021: Covid-19 arrangements
Wards Solicitors LLP remains fully open for business and we are taking on new cases. We are available for video call and telephone meetings but face to face meetings with clients are only available where agreed in advance and in limited circumstances to ensure compliance with our continuing Covid safeguards.
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